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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Bring soccer (hooliganism) to Portland
The current municipal controversy du jour in Portland is a proposal to drop a whole bunch of dough on another revamp of PGE Park to pave the way for an MLS franchise. I'm not entirely opposed to the idea...provided I don't have to think too much about where the money is going to come from. Jack Bogdanski has devoted a lot of space on his blog in recent weeks to decrying the cronyism and supposed backroom dealings that will fuel this already "done deal." Tomorrow morning, City Council will vote on whether or not to get the ball rolling on this one.
There's an argument to made on both sides but, let's be honest, are urban renewal funds ever going to go to a neighborhood that needs them? Will they go to repair Portland's roads or to patch the crumbling state of many of the city's public schools? Given City Hall's track record, of course not. Rather than a Convention Center hotel or a couplet on Burnside or another streetcar to a condo graveyard, I'd rather have a soccer stadium where I can pass a summer evening during the Great Depression Part Duex all tipsy on the delusion that I'm living in America's most European city.
Plus, having an MLS franchise in town will only further the chances of hooliganism. I'd pay good money to see a soccer riot in the downtown Nordstorms.